I follow a lot of blogs on Feedly. I became a Google Reader junkie back at my old job where many quiet afternoons stretched on too long. And yes, I shed a few tears when they announced it was going away, but Feedly is treating me right. For one thing, it transferred all my stuff from Google Reader without me doing much of anything. But the best part is that when I am done reading all my stuff, it flashes a big green “All done!” sign. I’m such a sucker for a pat on the back.
In the past few weeks, as I’ve been poking around in my Feedly feed, I’ve seen lots of posts about children’s books and what people are reading. I’ve gotten a lot of good ideas and recommendations about what to read to my kiddos. Here are some that stood out as clear winners.
Lucky Ducklings by Eva Moore and Nancy Carpenter. Recommended by Sprout’s Bookshelf. This book is like a ready-made classic. It feels like it has always been around, charming the socks off of everyone who reads it. Perfect to read aloud to a toddler or preschooler.
Doug Unplugged by Dan Yaccarino. Recommended by Random Acts of Reading. Finn started calling this one “robot boy,” as in “Read me robot boy one, Mommy?” Then, after a few days, he decided the golden robot in the story was actually himself. He read it on his own almost every day. We have to take this back to the library soon and I am not really looking forward to that. After our love of Zoom Zoom Zoom I’m Off to the Moon! also by Dan Yaccarino I am ready to recommend whatever this guy writes.
Hello, Hello by Matthew Cordell. Recommended by Short Tales. I thought this was going to be a challenging book to read aloud, because there are not that many words and most of them are, um, “Hello.” But, I have been proven wrong because we read this one every time we run across it around the house.
Not Your Typical Dragon by Dan Bar-el and Tim Bowers. Recommended by Flying Off My Bookshelf. Again, I wasn’t sure if this one was going to work out. There are some thorny dragon politics involved, and I wasn’t sure if Finn would really be able to understand them (I don’t even know if he understands that dragons are different from dinosaurs that are different from, I don’t know, the animals at the pet store). Well, he understood that it’s funny when bandaids come out of a dragon’s mouth, so again: I have been schooled, this one is delightful.
I don’t know if this is actually something anyone wonders about, but we do often get books at the library that are duds. For example, Finn was very taken by a Winnie the Pooh picture book and brought it home last week, but after we read two pages he never looked at it again. I wasn’t that fond of it, either, since it seemed to be a retelling of every story from The House at Pooh Corner, just with simpler words and more Disney-fied pictures. I don’t want to get on a tangent about how unnecessary that is, but we read Actual Stories from Actual House at Pooh Corner with Actual Olde Tyme Illustrations and Finn liked it just fine. And he’s two and doesn’t get any of the jokes. Likewise, the original Babar was quickly tossed aside.
But my point in bringing it up is that I have just been reporting (not just today, but any day) on the positive experiences we’ve had with children’s books and activities and stuff. Plenty of not-so-positive stuff happens, with books as well as everything else. When I sit down to write about our lives, I find myself most inspired when I write about the good stuff. Even the it’s-ok-not-super stuff is not that exciting to write about. Maybe one day I will open the dark closet on Children’s Books I Cannot Stand, but not today or probably any time soon (but I’ll give you a hint: such a post would prominently feature this train).